Dr Robert Connolly is an anatomist at the University of Liverpool; he assisted with the anatomical work done on the mummy of Tutankhamun back in the 1960s when he was a grad student.
I went to listen to him speak about the work he’s done on Egyptian mummies, back in early 2015. It was a fascinating talk, and he’s a wonderfully witty speaker to boot. He talked about Tutankhamun, especially the conclusions he drew on the circumstances of his death, from an anatomical point-of-view (he concurs with the theory that Tutankhamun fell out of a chariot and was hit front-on by the following chariot). He also spoke about the differences in mummification methods of several mummies from the same period.
His talk coincided with the ‘repatriation’ of the Garstang Mummy to the Garstang Museum (the archaeology museum at the University of Liverpool). The mummy had been put into safe storage at the university’s anatomy department during the Second World War, and remained there for over sixty years.
We were then taken for a tour of the museum after the talk and had the honour of being the first visitors to see the mummy in his new home.
The photos worked out really well; Dr Connolly was quite happy to pose for a snap and I love the rich grey on the painted mural above the Garstang Mummy, complemented by the almost otherworldly, yellow glow coming from the cabinet on the left.
It’s one of my favourite photographs, partly because it’s a reminder of a great evening, but also because it really captures a moment; that moment when Dr Connolly got to see the mummy he’d worked so closely on finally take pride of place back in the museum. Thanks, Dr Connolly!